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If you’re happy and you know it buy a house!

The wellbeing of mortgage holders and those who already own their own homes tends to be substantially higher than those who have no plans to buy a house, according to the RaboDirect Financial Health Barometer 2015.

RaboDirect surveyed 2,500 Australians, aged between 18 and 65 in August 2015, as part of its annual Financial Health Barometer.

Of the homeowners who were surveyed for the research, 50 per cent say they are completely happy with life, 44 per cent say they are in excellent health, 53 per cent say they feel in control of their lives and 67 per cent always try to make healthy choices.

This compares to people who say they have no intention to buy a house; 29 per cent of whom say they are completely happy with life, 27 per cent say they are in excellent health, 29 per cent say they are in control of their lives and 45 per cent always try to make healthy choices.

Interestingly, survey respondents who say they have no intentions to buy a property are also those who are most likely not to be investing in their health.
Of non-intending buyers, 15 per cent buy organic food, 10 per cent of which say they use a gym.

The same figures for homeowners are 29 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.

“It’s clear people who are in the property market are more inclined to pursue activities to boost their health and fitness, and overall feel happier with their lives” says Glenn Wealands Head of Market Research, Rabobank Australia and New Zealand Group.

“There’s a lot of commentary in the market at the moment around the booming property market and the impact it is having on Australians. These results indicate that having a savings goal and plan around items like home ownership can bring happiness.”

When it comes to expectations about finances, those who intend to buy property within the next three years are the most positive about their personal finances. Of this group, 53 per cent say they expect their personal finances to be better off in 12 months. In addition, 46 per cent say they are saving more now than a year ago.

Those who are not intending to buy a property have the lowest expectations about their finances, with just 28 per cent of this group expecting their financial position to have improved in a year’s time.

However, the savings expectations of people not intending to buy a property are nearly identical to mortgage holders, with 38 per cent of mortgage holders saying they are saving more now than a year ago and 37 per cent of those who have no intention of buying a property saying they are saving more now than a year ago.

“Our research this year clearly shows that Australians who are motivated in all aspects of life from health and fitness, getting out to watch a sports match or walking their dog, are generally more happy and financially in control,” Mr Wealands said.

“The lesson here is to get motivated about your money. At RaboDirect, we understand how hard Australians work to earn money and we want to ensure they’re making the most of their savings so they can make the most of life. Simple tactics such as swapping from a transaction account to an account that earns a high interest rate can make all the difference.

“The Financial Health Barometer research aims to arm Aussies with insights into how they can save more effectively and the trends that are potentially affecting their savings trajectory,” he said.

Other key attitudes towards saving and spending revealed in the 2015 Financial Health Barometer include:

  • Pets are regarded as essential to the health and wellbeing of pet owners, with Australians more likely to minimise power usage or switch to cheaper products before cutting spending on their furry friends
  • Of Australians working full or part-time 30 per cent feel like they are always in the red and 23 per cent are kept up at night by their finances
  • 40 per cent of Australians save into their transactional account, missing out on $2.3 billion in potential interest (^Roy Morgan Single Source, 12 months to April 2015 (n=33,630) Australians aged 14+ years who hold a transaction account)
  • The average Australian could only live on their savings for four months.
  • The more money Australians spend on healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercise and organic food, the happier they are
  • Almost one in three Australians are saving for a holiday, whilst beer lovers spend more than $1,000 per year on beer
  • Shoes are the most regretted impulse purchase and women have 17 per cent higher average debt levels than men

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact DEC PR on Ph: 02 8014 5033

About RaboDirect

RaboDirect is the online savings arm launched by Rabobank Australia Limited in 2007. As savings specialists RaboDirect is passionate about helping customers achieve their savings goals, through a range of high interest savings accounts and competitive term deposits.

RaboDirect is a division of Rabobank Australia Limited, part of the Rabobank Group, one of the world's leading specialists in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 115 years' experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness